TO THE RAMPARTS!

All of us know of the great benefits that science (including engineering and medicine) has bestowed upon us, both at work and in the home. Refrigerators, air conditioners, automobiles, computers, smart phones, prosthetic appliances, inoculation against diseases, etc. Many, however, are not aware of the battles that religion has waged against scientific developments for hundreds of years. Many books cover different aspects of this subject.

Christopher Hitchens argues that the battle of religion against science helped turn him to atheism. Charles Kimball, a Baptist Minister and a university Professor of Religious Studies, in his book “When Religion becomes Evil,” claims that “More wars have been waged, more people killed and these days more evil perpetrated in the name of religion than by any other force in human history.” This book concentrates on the ignorance and stupidity of Priests, Ministers, Rabbis and Muslim Clerics in opposing scientific and medical progress. Would you believe that religious groups opposed the lightning rod when Ben Franklin discovered it? Churches, with their high spires, were the main victims of fires started by lightning, but the Churches waited more than 15 years before starting to install these simple, inexpensive protective devices.

Does the Earth rotate around the Sun? Not according to the strict early teaching s of Catholic and Protestant churches. Stem cell research, with its tremendous possibilities for improved medical health, originated in the United States, but religious groups have stopped us from reaping the likely tremendous medical benefits, not to mention the huge financial rewards that pursuing this research could have provided. There is little likelihood that TO THE RAMPARTS! will convince fundamentalist Christians or deeply devout practitioners of other faiths to back off their anti-science attitudes, but I do sincerely hope that there are hundreds of thousands of reasonable readers with open minds that only require a little educational nudge.